No one’s quite sure where or when people began breeding Whipadors. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter. What these designer cross breeds lack in history, they more than make up for in appeal. A mix of Whippet and Labrador, they’re friendly, affectionate, and build for speed. Find out what else you can expect from the breed as we reveal 10 things you didn’t know about the Whipador.
1. The Whipador is one-half Whippet
One-half of the Whipador’s family tree consists of the Whippet. As DogTime writes, Whippets were once considered a hunter’s best friend, happily chasing rabbits, hares, and other small game all day long. These days, their speed and athletism make them great competitors in agility, rally, flyball, and obedience. When they’re not racing around, they’re slinking after their owners, being the loyal, affectionate creatures they habitually are. Elegant, graceful, and endearingly gentle, they make exceptional family pets.
2. And one-half Labrador
As much as the Whipador has a lot of Whippet in them, they’ve got an equal amount of Labrador. According to the AKC (www.akc.org/dog-breeds/labrador-retriever/), the Labrador, which was developed in Newfoundland, used to be employed as a duck retriever and fisherman’s mate. In the 1800s, a group of English noblemen visited Newfoundland and took a shine to the handsome breed. After a few of the dogs made the return journey to England with them, the breed began to be refined and standardized into what it is today. With their boundless energy and lovable natures, it’s no surprise that Labs rank as America’s most popular dog breed.
3. They were born to run
As thelabradorsite.com points out, it’s always hard to say how a mixed breed will turn out. With no two litters the same, some dogs take after one side of the family tree, others take after the other side, and some are a mix of the two. But while every Whipador looks a little different, they all have one thing in common: energy. Both the Labrador and the Whippet are straight-up bundles of energy. The Whippet could race for miles without ever slackening the pace, and the Labrador rarely sits still. Little wonder then, that their offspring is such a high-energy dog.
4. They’re easily bored
If you’re looking for a dog that’s happy to spend all day snoozing on the sofa, keep looking. Whatever else the Whipador is, a couch potato they’re not. If they don’t get regular walks and plenty of play sessions to stimulate both mind and body, they can get bored, frustrated, and even depressed. As they have a habit of releasing their frustrations by chewing up the furniture, it serves you as much as them to keep them properly entertained.
5. They hate being alone
If there’s one thing the Whipador hates more than anything, it’s being alone. If they’re left alone for long stretches of the day, loneliness and boredom can quickly set in, leaving them prone to stress, anxiety, and destructive behaviors. Early training and socialization can help reduce the problem, but even so, this isn’t the breed for people who rarely spend time at home.
6. They have a strong prey drive
If you have any cats, guinea pigs, rabbits or other small, furry creatures in the house, beware of introducing them to the Whipador. Like both its parent breeds, the Whipador has a strong prey drive, making them notorious for chasing after any small animal they see. To minimize the risk, they should be kept on the leash during walks (although don’t expect them to remember their leash manners if they catch sight of something they like the look of) and they should only be allowed to romp around in the yard if its securely fenced.
7. They’re medium build
Physically, the Whipador is a medium-sized, elegant dog with the long legs of the Whippet and the compact body of the Labrador. Although sizes vary depending on whether they take after the Labrador or the Whippet the most, most will grow to around 18 to 24.5 inches in height at the shoulders and weigh between 25 and 80 pounds. Like other breeds, female Whipadors tend to be smaller than their male counterparts.
8. They come in many colors
The Whipador’s coat can be one of a vast range of colors, depending on which parent breed they most take after. Whipadors that most resemble the Labrador will usually be black, yellow, or chocolate. Whipadors that look most like the Whippet can be black, solid blue, blue brindle, fawn, fawn brindle, cream, red, red brindle, or white. Some might also have blue, black, or white markings or a combination of all three. Dogs that take after the Labrador will usually have a double coat that sheds heavily. Those that take after the Whippet have a short, smooth coat that sheds rarely. Maintenance-wise, those that take after the Whippet are easy to care for – a weekly brush and the occasional bath when they get smelly is all that’s needed. Those who’ve inherited the Labrador’s double coat will need more regular grooming sessions to keep on top of the shedding.
9. They don’t like strangers
Whipadors are friendly, loving, highly affectionate creatures who love hanging out with their owners. But even so, they can get exceptionally shy and even anxious on occasions, especially when they meet an unfamiliar face. To keep the tendency from developing into a problem, early socialization to acquaint them with a wide range of people, places, situations, and animals is recommended.
10. They have strong constitutions
You can never guarantee if a dog’s going to be healthy or not, but certain breeds are more likely to develop health problems than others. Fortunately, both the Labrador and the Whippet are robust, healthy breeds that rarely experience so much as a sniff or sneeze. The Whipador has inherited the strong constitution of its parents: providing they’re fed a high-quality diet and get plenty of exercise, most remain strong and healthy well into old age. But that doesn’t mean you can take their health for granted. While it may be rare for either the Whippet or the Labrador to suffer from illness, they can occasionally develop several issues that the Whipador may, in turn, be vulnerable to. These include retinal dysplasia, glaucoma, lens luxation, heart issues, bloat, hereditary myopathy, joint dysplasia, and skin problems like demodectic mange, elbow hygroma, and allergies.